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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Best of 2010 - Foods

Let's finish off our Best Of awards with the best foods we ate last year...


First, no change here, the best tacos we've had were at Los Tacos de Huicho in Bakersfield.  Tender slabs of pork, stacked up on a vertical spit with a big, sweet onion on top, slowly rotate and cook to provide the best al pastor tacos you've ever had.  At 99 cents, what a bargain too!  Tim also says they make some of the best fries he's ever had.  My wife says the fish tacos are to die for while I'll always get a couple of tacos de tripas to go with my al pastor.  All of us also love the sopes, thick bowls of masa served with meat, beans, cheese and cream. Served plain, you finish it off with their awesome salsa bar featuring their delectable, creamy, and spicy guacamole salsa. 


PIZZA! This is a hard choice.  Our picks may seem like heresy to some, but our favorites are in our hometown area of Los Angeles, California. Three pizza parlors make our top three, all very worthy contenders...Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock, Tony's Little Italy in Placentia, and Joey's Red Devil Pizza in La Verne.  Casa Bianca makes a mean thin crust pizza topped with their fennel-infused homemade sausage but have some quirky, customer unfriendly policies...they don't open until 4pm; they're closed Sundays and Mondays; they take many long vacations; there is almost no parking; and it's cash only.


Tony's has the very friendly Tony Sr. and Tony Jr. running things.  They're open everyday, take credit cards, offer acres of parking, and make a Chicago deep-dish style pizza you'd think was flown in from the Windy City that afternoon.  At almost 1,000 calories a slice, it's good...very good...but it has to be a rare treat.


Just nudging out Tony's for our top spot is Joey's, next to an empty supermarket on the corner of Wheeler and Foothill in the really good pizza city of La Verne on the eastern edge of L.A. County.  Thin crust, flowing with melted cheese and sauce...we get the pepperoni, sausage, and American bacon pizza...these babies are the bomb!  Other items worth getting are the pizza crust bread sticks (not on the menu) that are wrapped around jalapeno peppers and cheese and the very excellent penne carbonara infused with garlic and bacon.  Get some Roland's sauce, a fiery hot pepper and vinegar potion made on the premises by Joey's mom, on the side.  It is also not on the menu but ask and you shall receive.


Barbecue.  This one's easy.  Go right now to Kansas City.  Find a Gate's restaurant.  Order the burnt ends sandwich.  Enter barbecue heaven.


Jalapeno poppers.  Thick, 5-6 inch long peppers.  Stuffed with ricotta.  Wrapped in bacon.  Smoked for two hours over oak wood.  Incredibly delicious.  This awesome piece of flavor is on the appetizer menu at The Dancing Bear restaurant in the old Plymouth Hotel in Plymouth, California in the heart of the Motherlode.

Hot dog, we went to a lot of ballparks last year and ate an astonishing array of tube steaks.  The best were the Hungarian sausages we made at home using the great sausages made at Huntington Meats at the L.A. Farmer's Market.  Outside of home, however, I have to give the nod to the Dinger Dog, available at Raley Field in Sacramento, home of the River Cats baseball team.

A half-pound, perfectly seasoned, natural casing sausage in a bun that can stand up to it.  Huge, snappy, and delicious...it's served plain and you load up with the ballpark's condiments.  It's not cheap at $9 but is big enough for two, I shared the sausage pictured with Tim and we were both full afterward.


That's our food finds for 2010!  Have a great and appetizing New Year.


-Darryl

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